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Evidence based methodology: a naturalistic analysis of epistemic policies in regulatory science

Luján, José Luis and Todt, Oliver (2020) Evidence based methodology: a naturalistic analysis of epistemic policies in regulatory science. [Preprint]

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Abstract

In this paper we argue for a naturalistic solution to some of the methodological controversies in regulatory science, on the basis of two case studies: toxicology (risk assessment) and health claim regulation (benefit assessment). We analyze the debates related to the scientific evidence that is considered necessary for regulatory decision making in each of those two fields, with a particular attention to the interactions between scientific and regulatory aspects. This analysis allows us to identify two general stances in the debate: a) one that argues for more permissive standards of evidence and for methodological pluralism, and b) an opposing one that not only defends strict evidence requirements but also stipulates the use of one particular (or at most a few) scientific methodologies for data generation. We argue that the real-world outcomes produced by alternative regulatory options are a vital piece of information that allows for the empirical assessment of these two stances. In particular, this information on outcomes makes it possible to analyze which standards of evidence and scientific methods generate the most useful knowledge as input for regulatory decision making. Our conclusion is that instead of an a priori selection of methodologies and standards, such decisions ought to be based on empirical evidence related to real-world outcomes.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Luján, José Luisjl.lujan@uib.es0000-0002-8829-0609
Todt, Oliveroliver.todt@uib.es
Keywords: Methodological controversies; naturalism; regulatory science; evidence hierarchies; weight of evidence
Subjects: General Issues > Evidence
General Issues > Science and Policy
General Issues > Values In Science
Depositing User: Dr. José Luis Luján
Date Deposited: 29 Nov 2020 04:24
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2020 04:24
Item ID: 18455
DOI or Unique Handle: https://doi.org/10.1007/s13194-020-00340-7
Subjects: General Issues > Evidence
General Issues > Science and Policy
General Issues > Values In Science
Date: November 2020
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/18455

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